Happy Birthday, Richard Curtis!

Today Gateway wishes a very Happy Birthday to gentleman, scholar, agent extraordinaire and publishing visionary, Richard Curtis.

Richard Curtis’s eponymous literary agency has counted many of the great and good of SF publishing over the more than forty year’s of its life, including Greg Bear, Harlan Ellison, Kim Harrison, Fritz Leiber, Pamela Sargent and Dan Simmons. Between 1980 and 1992, he wrote the Agent’s Corner column for Locus magazine, and for fifteen years he was the agent for SFWA.

But of special interest to Gateway readers is his clarity of vision with regard to the development of digital publishing. In 1999 – long before the eBook revolution really ignited – Richard established E-Reads, the first major digital-only publisher, in order to produce the eBook editions of his clients’ work, which he felt were not being treated seriously enough by the major publishing houses. Fast forward a dozen years or so, and E-Reads had grown to be so successful, demanding more and more time, that he felt the best thing to do for the list was to sell it to Open Road Media, where the resources existed to fully support the 1,200 or so eBooks in the list.

And many of those eBooks – some 500 in total – are currently published by us, under licence from E-Reads. As if that wasn’t reason enough to wish him well, Richard Curtis, unspoiled by years of success, remains one of the nicest men in publishing.

Happy Birthday, Richard!